Some of the best things in life are free, right?
But what if I told you some of the best security for your computer is also free, would you believe me? It’s true, out of all the titles for antivirus and anti-malware programs out there we have the paid versions and the free versions. What do they have in common? Well for starters, you get nearly every offering from both the free and the paid version. Although with the free version, many times you have to put up with the constant or occasional upsell pop-up coming from the product in your system tray. You may just take whatever is given, usually in the form of McAfee or Norton which comes pre-installed with a 30-day trial in every new device, internet service provider subscription and other services. When the trial runs out you may feel obligated to purchase an annual subscription.
But what exactly are you paying for?
Any antivirus it’s only as good as the definitions it receives daily so for the rest of the day the antivirus is vulnerable to more than 14 other infections that are created every 7 minutes around the World Wide Web. When an antivirus gets its definition package it carries with it the name and code of a particular infection. These infections are regularly bought and sold on the dark web and other places where malicious people of interest hang out. In some places you can even lease the previously used infection for 5 hours for roughly the same cost of a month’s rent. In that five hours a person has the ability to change the code ever-so-slightly and put a fresh coat of paint on it and give it a new name and push it out to scam you out of your identity, and also your money.
Which a/v for me?
Many of the top selling antivirus programs offer protection against viruses and malware, identity protection, phishing, hiding your IP address, shopping safety, and the list goes on and on. They advertise these components in great detail with little or no evidence to back up their claims. This is what we called bloatware. These components actually do nothing more than add to your collection of running system processes. This creates a stress on the processor and the memory slowing everything down.
Go for the free stuff, but remember you may be responsible for manual updates and scans. While all antivirus programs are essentially the same, using only antivirus to protect the security of your computer is like replacing your front door with a screen door. It will keep certain things out but at the same time it will let certain things in that overtime will eventually take over and disable your security.